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Cancer Res. 1988 May 15;48(10):2923-8.

Five-year follow-up study of independent clinical and flow cytometric prognostic factors for the survival of patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, German Cancer Center, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Fresh surgical specimens of tumors of 187 patients with previously untreated non-small cell lung carcinomas were investigated by means of flow cytometry. The aim of the study was to look for cellular prognostic indicators for survival times of these patients in addition to the well-known clinical prognostic factors. All patients had a minimum of 5 years follow-up. Patients with aneuploid tumors had significantly shorter survival times than did those with diploid tumors (P less than or equal to 0.001). Identical results are obtained when the analysis is restricted to just those patients with T3 tumors or to patients with metastatic tumors at time of surgery or who were classified as Stage III (P less than or equal to 0.01). These data indicate that DNA ploidy is a strong and independent prognostic factor in patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma. Patients having tumors with a high proliferative activity died significantly (P less than 0.05) earlier than patients having tumors with lower proliferative activity. As with tumor ploidy, survival time in patients with high or low proliferative tumor activities was independent of whether the patients had T3-tumors, metastases, or were in Stage III. Univariate and multivariate analyses of the data in this study demonstrate two groups of independent prognostic factors for the survival of patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma: a group of clinical factors and a group of flow cytometric factors.

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